P. O. Box 440
Garrison, NY 10524
Phone: (845) 424-4689
Cell: (914) 393-1462
Email: bgimelson@aol.com
 

Autographs
Browse by Name: 
The First African American to Receive a Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University
(Black Americana) Kenneth Clark (USA, 1914 - 2005)

TLS, 1p, 4to, Northside Center for Child Development, Inc, New York, September 15, 1955. To Dr.Andrew M.Burris.

Important letter from a pioneering black psychologist who, with his wife, extensively studied the damaging effects of racism and segregation to both black and white children. Reads in part, "It was good to receive your warm, kind and thoughtful letter about "Prejudice and Your Child". I was so moved by your approval of what I was trying g to do that I immediately called the publishers and read them the portion of the letter in which you described your difficulty in attempting to purchase a copy of the book and your question about New York reviewers. They insist that the book will be reviewed- that it cannot long be ignored. THey have sent me copies of reviews which have appeared in the Chattanooga Times, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers…they have described the book as a serious scholarly and calm appraisal of an important social problem…not one of the New York papers has yet reviewed it…It might be that the general American public is not ready to accept this approach to the problem of racial prejudice…"

$175

Henry Clay Declines A Speaking Engagement
Henry Clay (USA, 1777 - 1852)

"The Great Compromiser", Henry Clay a Senator from Kentucky, declines an invitation (an LS over three pages!) from the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church. Docketed "July 28, 1848".

$475

Promissory Note in the Hand of Future President Rutherford B.Hayes While a Lawyer in Lower Sandusky, Ohio
Rutherford B. Hayes (USA, 1822 - 1893)

Autograph Document with ADS as an endorsement on reverse, 1p, 8vo, L(ower). Sandusky, Ohio, July 12, 1845. A promise to pay $333.19 "for value recd with use from date..."one year from the date of the note. Signed by John Kistler and Daniel Brainard.On verso Hayes has written, "Pay to the order of R.B.Hayes...Dec.17, 1845".

Early period for Hayes, having just graduated Harvard Law School and only begun his practice in 1845. He continued practicing law for only two years when he developed a respiratory illness and moved to Texas for his health,with his uncle in 1847. He would not take up the law again until 1850.

$575

Hayes and Two Others Recommend Two Other Lawyers to Practice in Lower Sandusky, Ohio
Rutherford B. Hayes (USA, 1822 - 1893)

DS, 1p, 4to,n.p., n.d. but probably Lower Sandusky, Ohio, circa 1845. Recommendation for "messrs Lyle and Matheas...to practice as attorneys & counsellors at law..." Signed "R.B.Hayes" beneath signatures of B.N.May and W.W.Ainge

$250

Interesting Letter Of President Hoover on World War I Veterans
Herbert Hoover (USA, 1874 - 1964)

TLS, 1p, 4to,The White House, February 1, 1932. To Dr.Abraham Jablons, Grand Street Post No.1025, The American Legion, NYC. Sends a message to and American Legion post: "Please convey to the Grand Street Boys and their guests, the Disabled Veterans of the World War of the metropolitan area of New York, my cordial greetings in connection with the annual dinner. The occasion reflects the gratitude which all citizens feel for all time for their unselfish service to the country". Two file holes at the top, not affecting text.

$495

Lyndon Johnson Sends Thanks for naming A Child after Him- With a Twist
Lyndon Baines Johnson (USA, 1908 - 1973)

Typed Letter Signed "LBJ:, Austin, Texas, February 28, 1972. To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colbert. He writes, " Thanks for sending me that good picture of your young son and my namesake. I am so proud of him that I have written him the enclosed letter" (not present).

Now while this sounds innocuous enough, an ex-president happy that someone named their child Lyndon Baines, it was actually a ruse to obtain Johnson's autograph.Bob Colbert, an elevator operator in Philadelphia, was what we used to call an autograph hound. He would write to famous people and tell them, like in this letter, that he had named his son (or daughter) after that person. In actuality Bob had only one son named Robert Colbert,Jr.! Of particular note was the time he created an international incident. Bob had written to Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and told him he had named his newborn son, Yasser Arafat Colbert. Colbert got a congratulatory letter back from Arafat but he went much further. While attending a meeting of the United Nations Arafat thought it would be great publicity and perhaps a dig at the United States if he paid a visit to his namesake in Philadelphia. Of course, not only was there no Yasser Arafat Colbert, Mrs. Colbert had been unable to have children for many years. The wire services and of course all the Philadelphia newspapers carried the story of Arafat's planned visit and the aftermath. It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing moment to all parties, when Colbert had to divulge that he had lied to Arafat to obtain his autograph! This may have been the last time Bob tried the namesake ploy, or maybe not!

$850

Early Congressional Letter of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (USA, 1917 - 1963)

TLS, 1p, 8vo, Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., November 26, 1951.

He writes, "I am extremely sorry that it is not possible to effect your brother's discharge at this time; and that from all indications a hearing aid would be of no help to him. However, in the event there is anything further I can do to assist, I certainly hope you will get in touch with me again....

Iconic Photograph of Caroline Greeting JFK As He Departs Air Force I
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (USA, 1917 - 1963)

Inscribed Photograph Signed by Hamilton Secretary I ("To Cornelius Greenway D.D. with best wishes John Kennedy"), quarto, framed with Presidential seal issued by the Treasury Department in the 1960's. Photograph probably accomplished by White House photographer Robert LeRoy Knudsen. From the collection of Reverend Cornelius Greenway, sold by Parke-Bernet in the early 1970's and purchased directly from that sale.

$2,500

The Author of the "Star Spangled Banner"
Francis Scott Key (USA, 1779 - 1843)

Partial ADS, "Francis S. Key", in text, 1p,oblong 12mo, n.p,n.d.

Key, a most important Washington lawyer, author, and amateur poet, is best known to history for penning the words to our nation's national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner". He writes, "Francis S. Key hath this day paid to the said Isaac Robbins the said purchase money in full amounting to the sum of three thousand eight hundred and fourteen dollars and nineteen cents.-" There are also numerous words in his hand on the verso of this partial document.

$650

Moses Levy- The First Philadelphia Jewish Lawyer
(Judaica) Moses Levy (USA, 1757 - 1826)

Partial ADS "M Levy", 1p, oblong 8vo.Reads, "April 11.1790. Rec'd from the above W. Rawle Esquire to be entered up in New Castle County. M Levy".

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he was the son of Samson Levy, scion of a prominent Philadelphia family.He was admitted to the Bar on March 19, 1778, becoming the first practicing Jewish lawyer in Philadelphia. A very scarce autograph.

$750

Census From 1830 of "Free Whites, Slaves & Free Persons of Color" in East Tennessee
William C. Mynatt (USA, 1831 - 1831)

Autograph Document Signed, 2pp, 4to, [Knoxville, TE],District of East Tennessee, June 3, 1831.

An interesting historic census document for East Tennessee listing how many Whites, Slaves, and "Colored Free Persons" were living in 22 counties. The total numberds were quite large- "Whites 182115, Slaves 17873, Free Colored Person 1936".

Mynatt, a War of 1812 Aid-de-camp to General Cocke, and later Mayor of Knoxville, signs the document twice.

$750

The Great Ceramatist and Painter Henry Varnum Poor Defines "Art Talent"
Henry Varnum Poor (USA, 1887 - 1970)

ALS, 1p, 4to, no date but circa 1934, on verso of a letter from Rose T. Marucci, asking him "...how art talent may be defined..." Poor, at the time one of the most important artists in the country, responds, "The most basic thing in what you call "Art Talent" is I think a constructive sense. It is not at all uncommon - I should imagine we think of all children as constructive. It is apt to be largely physical - to lie in the body & hands as much as brain. Mechanically minded boys, girls who sew etc have this. From this group comes the smaller group who have temperament - or interest - or love of some form of art which becomes conscious. Among these, the few who have sustaining will power to carry their basic endowment continually higher make up the few who may be creative artists. The intensity & stamina of the will is I think the really controlling factor. Sincerely, Henry V.Poor".

$525

Franked Envelope and Letter of Edith Kermit Roosevelt, Second Wife and First Lady to Theodore Roosevelt
Edith Kermit Roosevelt (USA, 1861 - 1948)

Small envelope bearing a franking signature of Edith K.Roosevelt in upper right corner, addressed to "Miss Rosa Mordecai" in Washington, DC. Also has a circular "Oyster BAy, NY" postmark dated Oct.29, 1927. Included is a two page Autograph Note Signed which reads, "Oct.29th. Sagamore Hill. Dear Miss Mordecai, All my thanks for your letter of affectionate remembrance. And thanks for the cards.I wish each lived nearer to each of us. E. Nicks & her friends are to be in Switzerland this winter. I miss them sadly. Affectionately your friend, Edith Kermit Roosevelt"

Rosa Mordecai was a scion of a distinguished Jewish family of merchants, physicians, educators, soldiers, philanthropists, and reformers. Faith in education as the path toward equality of opportunity was instilled in Rosa Mordecai by her father, Alfred Mordecai—a distinguished educator and businessman, the first Jewish graduate of West Point, and the foremost expert on munitions in antebellum America—and her mother, Sarah (Hays), niece of rebecca gratz, the founder of the first Hebrew Sunday school in America.

$135

Eleanor Roosevelt Signed White House Card
Eleanor Roosevelt (USA, 1884 - 1962)

Scarce White house card signed. Mrs. Roosevelt had the longest tenure of any first lady.

$300

First Day Cover Signed by Eric Sloan, Peter Hurd, and Henrietta Wyeth
Eric Sloane (USA, 1905 - 1985)

A first day cover of the 1962 Winslow Homer stamp signed by Eric Sloane, Peter Hurd (1904-1984), and Henriette Wyeth (Hurd, 1907-1997).The cover is postmarked, Gloucester, Mass, Dec.15, 1962 and bears a 4˘ stamp honoring Winslow Homer.

Eric Sloane had studied under N. C. Wyeth and was an important muralist, and authored numerous art books. Peter Hurd was a western artist who also studied under N.C.Wyeth. eventually marrying his daughter, Henriette, also a renowned artist. Accompanying the signed cover is a photograph of Peter Hurd and his wife Henriette in later life.

$650

Taft Signs a Certificate of Membership of the University Club, of the City of Washington, District of Columbia, as "President"
William Howard Taft (USA, 1857 - 1930)

Printed DS, 1p, 4to, [Washington, DC], n.d. Scarce document signed by Taft as President of the University Club of DC, in blank. What makes this interesting is that Taft, a former President of the United States, is signing a document as a different kind of "President"!

$375

A Note in the Hand of Future Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney
Roger Brooke Taney (USA, 1777 - 1864)

ADS, 1p, oblong 8vo, Feb.2, 1813, while in private practice. An authorization for another lawyer to deliver papers in a lawsuit.Taney later became the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1836-1864) and delivered the majority decision in the 1857 Dred Scott case which ruled among other things that congress had no right to restrict the spread of slavery into Federal territories. This decision has been widely viewed by historians as one of the causes of the Civil War.

$250

LESS THAN FOUR HOURS AFTER THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT HARRY TRUMAN TAKES THE OATH OF OFFICE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Harry S. Truman (USA, 1884 - 1972)

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). Document signed, (“Harry Truman”), 1p, 8vo,The White House, Cabinet Room, 7:09 P.M., April 12, 1945. On official stationery with gold Presidential seal, a spread eagle holding arrows in one talon, and an olive branch in the other. Framed with portrait of Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone administering the Oath of Office. Dated only hours after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of a stroke in Warm Springs, Georgia; a painting of Woodrow Wilson hangs above the ceremony. This important historic document reads,

“The Oath of Office I, Harry S. Truman, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will, to The best of my ability, preserve, protect, And defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God. Harry Truman (signed)

Administered by: Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone 7:09 P.M. April 12, 1945 Cabinet Room The White House”

$2,500

Truman Letter in the Last year of His Life
Harry S Truman (USA, 1884 - 1972)

President. TLS, 1p, 4to, Independence, Missouri, January 11, 1972. Sends a signed photograph (not enclosed); signed with his shaky aged signature.

$250

Truman Writes to Comedian George Jessel Regarding the death of His Brother
Harry S Truman (USA, 1884 - 1972)

TLS, 1p, 4to, Independence,Missouri, July 15, 1965.Ex-President Truman thanks Jessel for a note of condolence on the death of his younger brother John Vivian Truman (1886-1965).

$375

Letter to John Boardman from the Long Time Revolutionary Period New York Lieutenant Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt
Pierre Van Cortlandt (USA, 1721 - 1814)

ALS, "P.V.Cortlandt, 1p, 4to, Philadelphia, Jan.1st, 1799. With address leaf bearing a light red PHI postmark and matching straight line "FREE"; Van Cortlandt has franked it in the upper right hand corner, "P.V.Cortlandt".

Van Cortlandt, descended from early settlers of New York including mayor Stephanus Van Cortlandt, and served as Lieutenant Governor of New York under George Clinton from 1777-1795. In 1747 he inherited the Van Cortlandt Manor House and extensive surrounding lands from his father, Philip Van Cortlandt. Apparently, he was presed for money when he penned this letter as he is reminding Boardman that he "...must be sensible that altho the Land is bound you are not in the least exonerated from payment of your bond..."

$650